Cyd Charisse at the ballet barre, in full flush of Technicolor

Dance · Film
In opening moments of director Henry Koster’s The Unfinished Dance (1947), the audience gets the distinct pleasure of peering in as ballerina Mlle Bouchet (Cyd Charisse) does her daily warm-up. The gorgeous burnt-yellow tutu Cyd wears is the vision of costume designer Helen Rose. The color-saturated image — the yellow costume, Cyd’s red-red lipstick against ...

Technicolor rapture of THE UNFINISHED DANCE

Dance · Fashion · Film
This hallucinogenic slice of celluloid captures Cyd Charisse, playing prima ballerina Mlle Bouchet, in director Henry Koster’s movie-tour of the world of ballet neurosis, THE UNFINISHED DANCE. Here Cyd performs a balletic “combré,” a deep back-bend, at the barre. The movie, made at MGM in 1947, starred child actor Margaret O’Brien. It’s a ballet soap ...

Dance Camera West to spool classic ballet flick, “The Unfinished Dance”

Dance · Film
Everything is beautiful at the ballet. Except at the movies. In the movies, for some confounded reason, the world of pretty-in-pink turns blood red. It’s a parade of backstage drama awash in envy, rage, depression, jealousy, backstabbing, unkindness — and that’s just the light stuff. At worst, there are full-on murderous attacks, vengeful fits and ...

Writhing & wriggling Gwen Verdon elicits yawns in “David and Bathsheba”

Dance · Film
In this wonderful clip from DAVID AND BATHSHEBA (1951), the great Gwen Verdon fails to arouse the attention of a couple of onlookers, despite choreographer Jack Cole throwing every slinky trick in the book at the two guys. Watching Gorgeous Gwen, you’d think they’d (at least) sit up in their chairs! The 20th Century-Fox Biblical ...